Updates On 2018 Club Options Over Pitchers

Posted: August 8, 2017 in Uncategorized
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We checked in last night on the status of some position players whose teams will be deciding on club options at the end of the year. This morning, we’ll do the same with regard to hurlers. As before, we aren’t considering player options/opt-outs (like Johnny Cueto and the Giants) or mutual options (as with Mike Minor and the Royals).

  • Tony Barnette, RP, Rangers — $4MM option, $250K buyout: Barnette produced great results last year with less-than-exciting peripherals. In 2017, he’s got double-digit strikeouts per nine but also owns a 5.55 ERA — owing to a high BABIP, low strand rate, and double the rate of homers allowed. With a healthy 14.2% swinging-strike rate to support the strikeout numbers, Barnette may actually still represent a nice value for Texas.
  • Jerry Blevins, RP, Mets — $7MM option, $1MM buyout: There have been a few ups and downs, but on the whole Blevins has been a quality member of the Mets’ pen once again. He’s carrying 12.4 K/9 on a 14.1% swinging-strike rate that’s easily a career best. New York would be hard pressed to find a similar power lefty in free agency for a more appealing price.
  • Madison Bumgarner, SP, Giants — $12MM option, $1.5MM buyout: There was never any question of this option being picked up, even when MadBum suffered a significant injury earlier in the year. He’s back and has been plenty effective, so any slight doubt is completely gone; whether the sides will attempt a new extension this winter, though, remains to be seen.
  • Matt Cain, SP/RP, Giants — $21MM option, $7.5MM buyout: Despite the high buyout tag, this one has long seemed mostly a foregone conclusion to be declined. Cain has just never rediscovered his pre-injury form and was finally bumped to the pen. He is carrying an abysmal 4.7% swinging-strike rate on the year — nearly half his career average and the lowest in the game among pitchers with at least 20 innings.
  • R.A. Dickey, SP, Braves — $8MM option, $500K buyout: Dickey is beffuddling hitters with his knuckler about as much as he has in the prior four seasons, with a solid 4.03 ERA over 134 frames. Atlanta still needs to fill out the rotation for 2018, so this seems like a pretty easy “yes.”
  • Nathan Eovaldi, SP, Rays — $2MM option: We haven’t heard much of Eovaldi’s progress as he works back from elbow surgery, but that’s not all that surprising given the expected timetable for his procedure — a second Tommy John that also included a flexor tendon repair. The Rays still have some time to decide whether to continue their investment in the talented hurler, who could be an interesting asset if he’s able to get back to the mound.
  • Yovani Gallardo, SP, Mariners — $13MM option, $2MM buyout: It’s hard to see the M’s taking on the $11MM difference here. Gallardo has allowed over five earned runs per nine for the second consecutive year and ERA estimators (4.96 FIP; 5.02 xFIP; 5.16 SIERA) see the results as a roughly accurate reflection of his performance. It is worth noting, though, that Gallardo has gained about two miles per hour on his average fastball, which may increase his appeal as a turnaround option in free agency.
  • Matt Garza, SP, Brewers — $5MM option: Garza has posted solid results, with a 3.68 ERA over 88 frames, though the peripherals (6.1 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 42.4% groundball rate) don’t excite and ERA estimators are a bit skeptical. Assuming he remains healthy and generally effective the rest of the way, there’s little reason for the Brewers to pass on such a reasonably priced rotation piece.
  • Gio Gonzalez, SP, Nationals — $12MM option, $500K buyout: The veteran lefty has long underperformed ERA estimators, but now it’s just the opposite as he carries a career-low 2.66 ERA through 142 1/3 innings. He’s no longer suppressing home runs like he once did, has lost another 1.5 mph on his average fastball, and has benefited from a 85.1% strand rate and .241 BABIP. Still, this is an easy pick-up as things stand … and likely won’t be a choice anyway, as the option will vest once Gio reaches 180 frames — which he’s all but assured of doing for the first time since 2013.
  • Craig Kimbrel, RP, Red Sox — $13MM option, $1MM buyout: Last year’s 5.1 BB/9 walk rate is firmly in the rearview mirror and Kimbrel is back as perhaps the game’s most dominant reliever. His 44.6% K%-BB% is a career high, as is his league-leading 20.6% swinging-strike rate. Which is to say, there’s really nothing more to discuss; he’s coming back to Boston barring a catastrophic injury.
  • Boone Logan, RP, Indians — $7MM option, $1MM buyout: A lat strain will force Logan out for a lengthy stretch, perhaps the rest of the season. That certainly changes the picture somewhat on the option. Logan has remained a somewhat frustrating pitcher: his strand rate has hovered around 60% over the past two years even as he continues to post compelling swinging-strike, strikeout, and groundball numbers. Cleveland had handled him very deliberately early on, giving him just 21 frames over 38 appearances, and that relatively narrow role could reduce his utility to the team in the future. This one could conceivably go either way, and may yet be impacted by Logan’s recovery efforts between now and decision time (five days after the World Series).
  • Wade Miley, SP, Orioles — $12MM option, $500K buyout: Even looking beyond the ugly results — a second consecutive year with a 5+ ERA — this has been a rough season for the lefty. He has allowed 5.2 BB/9, nearly double his career average, while coughing up home runs on nearly one-fifth of the flies put in play against him. Baltimore needs arms, but it seems reasonable to anticipate that the club will find more appealing ways to spend the $11.5MM gap between the option price and buyout.
  • Matt Moore, SP, Giants — $9MM option, $1MM buyout: It’s tough to know what to make of the 28-year-old, who just hasn’t been all that effective this year after seeming to show improved form in 2016. San Francisco made a rather significant investment in trade assets to get him at last year’s deadline, and will value the chance to control Moore at a reasonable rate for 2019, but the results are surely troubling. Odds are the Giants will decide the upside outweighs the risk here.
  • Ricky Nolasco, SP, Angels — $13MM option, $1MM buyout: Home runs have beena big problem for Nolasco this year, as he has allowed nearly two per nine on an 18.1% HR/FB rate. Otherwise, he looks like much the same pitcher as ever and even sports a career-high 11.1% swinging-strike rate. He has also worked out of the zone more than ever before, but hasn’t seen a major jump in walk rate. It’s a pretty hefty price tag, but perhaps it’s not totally inconceivable that the injury-riddled Halos would value the chance to retain the typically durable veteran.
  • Martin Perez, SP, Rangers — $6MM option, $2.45MM buyout: The first of three option years, this provision was obviously intended to be exercised unless things really turned south. Perez has not been very good, with a 5.46 ERA and just 5.9 K/9 against 3.4 BB/9 with a lower-than-usual 45.8% groundball rate, but he’s young and evidently healthy. The Rangers need the innings and the price is right.
  • Glen Perkins, RP, Twins — $6.5MM option, $700K buyout: Major shoulder surgery has drastically altered his career path, but the former Twins closer is finally nearing a return. It’s still possible the club could find appeal in this price tag for the respected veteran, though he’ll have to show it on the mound over the next seven weeks.
  • Anibal Sanchez, SP/RP, Tigers — $16MM option, $5MM buyout: There were some intriguing peaks at one point over the summer, but the 33-year-old’s overall body of work does not inspire confidence — particularly, the fact that he has been torched for nearly two-and-a-half dingers per nine. There’s no realistic chance that Detroit will take on the extra $11MM to keep Sanchez.
  • Chris Sale, SP, Red Sox — $12.5MM option, $1MM buyout: He’s been even better than advertised. As with Kimbrel, it’s an easy call for the Sox.
  • Huston Street, RP, Angels — $10MM option, $1MM buyout: The 34-year-old has turned in four scoreless appearances since finally returning to the bump, which is somewhat promising but also far too little to serve as the basis for an assessment. Odds are this’ll remain too steep a price for the Halos to pay, though, especially given the backdrop of multiple injuries, age, and a forgettable 2016 campaign.
  • Josh Tomlin, SP, Indians — $3MM option, $750K buyout: The sticker price is just so reasonable here that it’s hard to see Cleveland passing. Tomlin has been mostly himself despite a 5.38 ERA. He’s averaging less than one walk and just over seven strikeouts per nine innings. As ever, he’s susceptible to the long ball. The difference between this year’s iffy results and his solid work over the prior two seasons? A .328 BABIP and 65.6% strand rate. Tomlin still looks like a solid back-end starter and remains a bargain.

from MLB Trade Rumors http://ift.tt/2hGfLyh
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